East Africa 2019

Immersive Kenya and Tanzania 2019

August 20–September 3, 2019

The spectacular Great Migration, the colorful Maasai people, and the white sands of Zanzibar await

Join professional photographer Matt Estrada of Lightminded Photo Tours and Africa travel expert and tour guide Helen Davies of Rock My Adventure, on an incredible photography expedition through Kenya and Tanzania.

This spectacular adventure takes us to four of Africa’s best safari destinations: the Masai Mara, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park, as well as the paradise island of Zanzibar.

Starting in Nairobi, we’ll head into the incredible Masai Mara, where we’ll go on safari to spot the Big 5—African lion, African leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros—as the migration passes through this remote wilderness. While there, we’ll also spend time in a nearby Maasai village, home to Maasai friends of Helen’s and Matt’s—to learn about their lives and unique culture. We’ll also visit the local township, Sekenani, something most tourists will never experience.

Next we’re off on a safari to the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park, to spot and photograph even more animals. By day we’ll enjoy our very own guided private safari through each of these world-renowned destinations, and by night we’ll fall asleep to the distant sounds of hyenas cackling and lions roaring.

Next we’ll transfer to Zanzibar, where we’ll meander through the ancient alleyways of Stone Town to learn about the history of this fascinating place, while capturing its rare and unusual beauty. In the evenings, we’ll soak in the atmosphere of the old town, practice our night photography at Forodhani Gardens and listen to enchanting Taarab music while eating a Zanzibari feast at one of Stone Town’s best rooftop restaurants.

Our last stop is the village of Paje on Zanzibar’s southeast coast, a true tropical paradise with turquoise blue water and white sandy beaches that stretch for miles.

14 Nights

4 to 6 Travelers

$6,350*

(Double-occupancy)

Itinerary

Arrive in Nairobi and transfer to your accommodation. Your Lightminded Photo Tours + Rock My Adventure photography adventure starts here. Karibu Kenya!

Relax, ask lots of questions and get to know your fellow travellers and Matt and Helen during a delicious welcome meal and a beer or two at our lovely campsite.

We’ll get an early night tonight, as tomorrow our adventure really begins.

Highlights

  • Arrival in Nairobi!
  • Meet the guides and group

Meals

  • Dinner at lodge

Accommodations

  • Wildebeest Eco Camp (or similar)

Important Notes

If you have the time and can arrive earlier, we can organise any other activities you wish to do. Additional accommodation and activities charged separately.

Early in the morning, we’ll depart from Nairobi and head toward the world famous Masai Mara for our first safari.

On the way we’ll take in the views of the magnificent Great Rift Valley, then stop for lunch in the town of Narok before heading into the park itself, where we’ll spend the next two nights.

On the way we’re likely to see elephants, lions, and giraffes, so have your cameras ready!

In the evening, we’ll charge up our cameras, get prepared for a full day on safari tomorrow, relax around the campfire and under the stars at our lodge, and Matt will be on hand to answer all of your photography questions.

Highlights

  • Great Rift Valley
  • Afternoon Masai Mara photography tour
  • Photography: Wildlife

Meals

  • Breakfast at Wildebeest Eco Camp
  • Dinner at lodge

Accommodations

  • Tented lodge

Important Notes

  • Lunch not included this day

Today we’ll spend the whole day out on safari looking for the Big 5—elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinos, and cape buffalo—as well as lots of the other animals that inhabit the park, including giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, wildebeest, hyenas, and several species of antelope.

There will be plenty of opportunities to capture incredible photographs—the end of August is usually when the migration passes through the Mara, so one of our main aims of this day is to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River. A truly magical experience.

Our guides will get us close to the action, while being respectful to the wildlife and natural environment.

In the evening we’ll head back to camp to rest, recharge, and enjoy a delicious dinner. The rest of the evening is free to chat all things photography, sort and edit your photos, or get to know your fellow adventurers around the campfire.

Highlights

  • All-day Masai Mara photography safari
  • Photography: Wildlife, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at lodge
  • Picnic lunch inside the park
  • Dinner at lodge

Accommodations

  • Tented Lodge

Today we’ll get up early and head out for a morning game drive through the Mara to capture more incredible safari images. Morning is such a magical time in the Mara, when the lighting is just right and the animals are at their most active.

Leaving the park mid-morning, we’ll spend the rest of the day with Helen and Matt’s Maasai friends who live in a small village just outside the Sekenani Gate.

We’ll learn about what it’s like to live in a Maasai village and our guides will show and teach you about their customs and traditions. You’re free to ask as many questions and take as many photos as you like throughout the visit. Matt and Helen will be on hand to ensure you get some great shots and get the most out of your visit.

At some point during the day, we might get invited for a cup of warming masala tea at the home of one of our Maasai friends—a very special experience.

That evening we’ll head out with our safari and Maasai guides for a local dinner and drinks in one of the restaurants in the nearby township of Sekenani. You won’t find any other tourists here.

This is always a super fun and informative day and one that you’ll never forget!

Highlights

  • Morning Masai Mara photography safari
  • Photography: wildlife, portrait, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at lodge
  • Lunch included
  • Dinner in Sekenani township

Accommodations

  • Mara Explorers Camp

Important Notes

If you feel inclined to offer something in-kind to this Masai Village, children’s school supplies are always a welcome gift. However, gifting is not expected and is completely discretionary.

Early in the morning, those who wish can take an optional hot air balloon ride (additional cost) over the Masai Mara. This is a wonderful chance to see the sunrise and epic landscape from the air and, at this time of year, you have a high chance of seeing the migration in full swing. Back down on the ground, you’ll be treated to a wonderful champagne breakfast.

Alternatively, you can take an early morning hike with your new Maasai friends to the top of Siana Hill for sweeping views over the area. Or you can have a restful morning at the camp.

When the ballooners and hikers return, we’ll say our goodbyes to the Mara and make our way back to Nairobi, again passing over the incredible Great Rift Valley as we go, and we’ll have another chance to take photographs there.

The evening will be free to spend catching up on your photo editing, having one-on-one sessions with Matt, or, those who want to can head out to experience the exciting Nairobi nightlife.

Highlights

  • Optional morning activities include a hot air balloon ride or walking tour
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at Lodge

Accommodations

  • Wildebeest Eco Camp (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Lunch and dinner not included this day

Today is another exciting day as we fly into Tanzania (flights charged separately) for the second part of our adventure.

We’ll spend the night in Moshi, a bustling town that lies at the base of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro and, in the afternoon, we’ll head out to a local market for a photography tour with Matt and our local guides. This is also be a great opportunity to try some of the delicious Tanzanian street food for lunch.

In the evening we’ll have dinner at a great local restaurant before getting a good night’s sleep in preparation to venture out on another safari tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Moshi photography tour
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture

Meals

  • Breakfast at Wildebeest Eco Camp
  • Dinner at More than a Drop

Accommodations

  • More than a Drop (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro not included; must be purchased separately
  • Lunch not included this day

We’ll spend the next few days on safari in Tarangire, the Serengeti, and the Ngorongoro Crater, three of the most spectacular safari destinations on the planet and home to the Big 5.

We’ll enjoy breakfast out in the garden of our lovely lodge and, weather permitting, we should be able to get a good glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro.

When we’re ready, we’ll leave Moshi and head toward Tarangire National Park, arriving around lunchtime, to begin our fantastic afternoon safari. Tarangire is home to one of the most dense concentrations of elephants in the world, and the photo opportunities are usually plentiful.

You’ll go to sleep to the sounds of hyenas cackling and maybe even the odd lion roar or elephant trumpet in the distance.

Highlights

  • Afternoon Tarangire photography safari
  • Photography: wildlife, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at More than a Drop
  • Dinner at More than a Drop

Accommodations

  • More than a Drop (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Lunch not included this day

Today we’re off to one of the most amazing safari destinations in the world: the Serengeti! Believe us when we say it’s just like stepping into the Lion King, and you will be singing “Circle of Life” all the way in!

We’ll spend the afternoon driving through the park and you’ll be absolutely wowed by the sheer volume of animals and the incredible landscape before you.

Our expert guides will get us up close to the action and Matt will be helping you capture the best shots.

In the evening, we’ll discuss photography, share stories, and drink Amarula, before getting an early night, ready for another safari tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Afternoon Serengeti photography safari
  • Photography: wildlife, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at More than a Drop
  • Lunch included
  • Dinner at lodge

Accommodations

  • Tented Lodge

We’ll be up and out early for another game drive in the Serengeti, looking for animals. Many animals are very active in the mornings before it gets too hot.

The Serengeti has an abundance of wildlife so you won’t be disappointed! We’ll keep our eyes peeled for lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and all the other animals you could ever hope to see on safari.

In the afternoon, we’ll head to the Ngorongoro Crater, where we’ll stay in a lodge up on the crater rim. When the sun goes down, we’ll relax around the campfire, under the stars.

Highlights

  • Morning Serengeti photography safari
  • Photography: wildlife, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at lodge
  • Lunch included
  • Dinner at lodge

Accommodations

  • Tented lodge

We’ll wake at dawn and head down into the Ngorongoro Crater for another day on safari.

The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact crater in the world, formed 3 million years ago when a volcano (reportedly higher than Kilimanjaro) collapsed. The result is one of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth—perfect for photography!

If that wasn’t enough, the crater is filled with a high concentration of animals and it isn’t uncommon to see predator and prey interact in this (relatively) enclosed space. We also have a good chance of seeing an endangered black rhino or two.

In the afternoon, we’ll head to Arusha town. Here you can either head out on the town or rest after the last few days on safari.

Highlights

  • Morning Ngorongoro Crater photography safari
  • Photography: wildlife, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at lodge
  • Lunch included
  • Dinner at hotel

Accommodations

  • Green Mountain Hotel (or similar)

Today is an exciting day as we’re flying to the paradise island of Zanzibar (flights charged separately).

When we arrive, we’ll check into our stunning traditional Zanzibari hotel and then grab some lunch at a great local restaurant.

Fed and watered, we’ll take an informative walking tour of Stone Town where you’ll learn all about the history (and all the gossip) of this incredible place as well as have the opportunity to take photographs of many of the main sights.

In the evening we’ll take a trip to Forodhani Gardens, the awesome nightly food market where you can pick up some local delicacies such as seafood kebabs, samosas, fruit, grilled maize, sugar cane juice, and the famous Zanzibar pizza! You’ll also get the chance to practice your night photography at the market.

Highlights

  • Stone Town walking photography tour
  • Forodhani Gardens food photography tour
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture

Meals

  • Breakfast at lodge

Accommodations

  • Dhow Palace (or similar)

Today is a free day to take one of the many day trips from Stone Town (visit Prison Island, take a spice tour, traditional dhow sailing trip), take part in a Zanzibari cooking lesson (and practice your food photography), shop at your leisure, or simply wander the maze and absorb the magic that is Stone town.

Stone Town is an incredible place to practice your photography with its ornate doors, interesting buildings, and plenty of history.

If you’re up for a challenge, Matt will give you a photography assignment for the day based upon some of the techniques you’ve been working on.

In the early evening we’ll head to one of Stone Town’s top rooftop restaurants. The restaurant offers wonderful views over Stone Town and you’ll love hearing the call to prayer whilst watching the sunset. This is a true Zanzibari experience with great food and local Taarab music. Pure magic!

Highlights

  • Zanzibari dinner and live Taarab music
  • Dinner at an iconic Stone Town rooftop restaurant
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture

Meals

  • Breakfast at Dhow Palace
  • Dinner at rooftop Stone Town restaurant

Accommodations

  • Dhow Palace (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Lunch not included this day

Today we’ll head to Paje on Zanzibar’s beautiful southeast coast.

We’re going to take a trip to the famous Rock Restaurant. This is a lovely experience as well as being incredibly photogenic. We’ll ensure you go at the right time to get those picture-perfect images too.

The rest of the day is free to wander round the village, enjoy the pool or the beach, and make some new friends.

The evening is your own, however you may want to let your hair down and go dancing at one of Paje’s beach bars.

Highlights

  • The Rock Restaurant
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture, landscape

Meals

  • Breakfast at Dhow Palace
  • Dinner at the Rock Restaurant

Accommodations

  • Waterfront Zanzibar Beach Hotel (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Dinner not included this day

Today we’ll head to Paje on Zanzibar’s beautiful southeast coast.

Early in the morning, Matt will be heading down to the beach to photograph the sunrise and you are welcome to join him in capturing the changing light dancing on the water. But if you’d prefer to have a lie-in, we won’t be offended. This is your holiday.

We’ve left the rest of today completely free so that you’re able to relax and enjoy your last day in Zanzibar as you please. However, if you’re wanting to venture out, there are still plenty of things to do and Matt is always on hand to help with photography and answer your questions.

Popular excursions include boat trips to the Mnemba Atoll, a great place for scuba diving and snorkelling. Or you might want to take a Zanzibari cooking lesson with a local chef or go on a village tour. If you’ve ever fancied going stand-up paddle boarding, the mangroves of Zanzibar are a great place to learn. Helen can arrange anything you wish to do.

In the evening we’ll head out for a fantastic goodbye dinner at a local restaurant and toast to great adventures, news skills, and wonderful new friends.

Asante sana!

Highlights

  • Sunrise photography workshop
  • Photography: landscape, street, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at Waterfront Zanzibar Beach Hotel
  • Lunch included

Accommodations

  • Waterfront Zanzibar Beach Hotel (or similar)

Important Notes

  • Dinner not included this day

Today is always a sad day as we say goodbye to our new friends. But the memories, shared experiences, and photographs of Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar, will last a lifetime!

We can arrange your transfer to Zanzibar Airport or you can continue your Africa travels from there.

If you need any support with your pre- or post-tour Africa travels, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s all part of the Lightminded Photo Tours and Rock My Adventure services.

Meals

  • Breakfast at Waterfront Zanzibar Beach Hotel
Note: All activities are weather-dependent; if poor weather keeps us inside, we’ll practice photo editing and post-processing techniques.

Meet Your Guides

Matt Estrada

Principal and Photography Instructor

Helen Davies

Tour Organizer and Culture Guide